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Narcolepsy – Latest Research

January 13, 2021
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Transcript

"There's some exciting research in narcolepsy. There's some drugs that are being developed that are targeting particular neurotransmitters in the brain that control alertness and energy. One of these is histamine, and we know about anti-histamines when we take a Benadryl for some seasonal allergies, and we know the side effect of that type of drug makes us very sleepy. So it turns out the histamine receptor in the nervous system is very stimulating. So what we're looking at these days are drugs that can stimulate the histamine receptors and give us more alertness and more energy. Exactly the opposite of a Benadryl. There's also medications that are targeted to GABA. GABA is the most inhibitory and common neurotransmitter, the entire nervous system. And it's relaxing. It's calming. A lot of seizure. Medications are targeted to that because seizure medications will calm down the nervous system to prevent seizures. Well, here, we're doing the opposite. We're stimulating GABA and creating more energy. So exactly the opposite of what we do in the seizure case. One of the drugs we're looking at is L-carnitine, this is an amino acid. We find it in food. We can buy it at health food stores to help with muscle mass and energy. And in fact, what we see in narcoleptics is low levels. So this is being targeted as well to give back if there's a deficiency of L-carnitine, unfortunately right now, we only have it as an V form and it needs to cross the blood-brain barrier to actually get into the head. But scientists are working on doing that exact thing. Finally, we're looking at things that may help the levels of hypo creatine in the nervous system. That's what gets attacked by the immune system and gets destroyed creating narcolepsy in the first place. If we can find a way to stimulate those receptors and really rev them up, we may have better energy and improvements in daytime functioning in patients with narcolepsy."